Saturday, September 24, 2016

Unwanted Blessings...

Hey everyone! 

As you may have noticed, I'm trying to post here on Chosen Vessels every Saturday (recently, there's been just as many post going up on weekdays as weekends, lol.) Today I have a little thingy I wrote awhile back to share with y'all. I actually wrote this for Emily McConnell's Write This Piece assignment. And since I don't have anything else to post today you are getting this. XD

Also, I added the Followers gadget to the top of the sidebar yesterday (not sure why I hadn't ever used it before. :P) So...yes! If you don't do email subscriptions, you can follow me there much easier now. :D 

I hope you enjoy and happy weekend! :) 

The beautiful melody plays…

 It seems like a never changing cycle. The same things, small and somewhat meaningless, repeat themselves days after day. All is wonderful and simple, yet perpetual and consistent. But it's good and you love it. You can't imagine life any other way. 

The pulsation of the tune quickens… 

 Without warning the pretty, lush meadow you've been dwelling in all your days vanishes, dropping, sharp and sudden, down into a dark and lonesome vale. Pain, hurt, fear, and bitter heartache surround you. You're overwhelmed by your discontented longing for something better, for a fuller life, for the normal, simple times you once knew. Deep inside you know that those are gone forever. 

 But it's here, buried in the loneliness, tired and cold, that you'll find the true blessings of life. It’s where you'll realize that good doesn't always have to be perfect; that a normal life isn't always best. 
 When all you can see with your eyes is agony and distress, look with your heart. You'll find that some of God’s greatest blessings are hidden right there. The blessings that you overlooked, hidden among trials and uncertainty, are often the sweetest and most beautiful of them all… 

**All pictures borrowed from Pinterest. 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fitting In by Rebekah Morris {Book Review}

Psst! This book released today. Click here to snag your $0.99 copy! 

Newly married, Elizabeth Leffler moves with her husband to his farm in the foothills of the western mountains. Eager to be a part of the town and community, she is disappointed by the cool welcome she receives. In her eagerness to fit in and find a place for herself, Elizabeth does the unthinkable.

4 stars

Fitting In, the third work I have read by Miss Morris, was quite endearing. Although not a favorite of mine, it was an enjoyable short-story with a great lesson. The writing reminds me somewhat of Janette Oke's – with a style of lovely and unique simplicity. 

Elizabeth was a kind young woman and a relatable character. Her struggles with not fitting in and feeling like an outcast were realistic. I was cheering for her so much at the end! 
Her husband, Paul, was super sweet. I loved how he called Elizabeth "Libby" and talked to his horse, Sir Drake. He was very supportive of his young wife. :) 
The Boice family were all so dear and sweet!! I loved their return to the community – thanks to Paul, Elizabeth, and God the Father. :) 

The one thing that confused me, though, was how Paul and Elizabeth were sometimes referred to as Mr. and Mrs. Leffler. Yes, that's their last name, but it confused me to have them called by first name one sentence and spoken of formally the next. 

That aside, it was a light, quick, and enjoyable read. :) I would certainly recommend it to someone who enjoys short-stories of people standing up for what's right! 

**I received a free e-copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.**

Monday, September 19, 2016

~ The Pray for People and Country Tag ~

Tag time! Blessing Counter from Counting Your Blessings One By One tagged me for this awesome tag ages ago (like two months :P) and I'm finally remembering to get it done. ;) Thanks, Blessing! 

~ The Rules
– Thank the blogger who tagged you. 
– Copy and paste the rules. 
– Pledge to pray for one person and one country or city every day for two weeks. 
– Tag two bloggers. 
– Have fun!

  I pledge to pray for a girl who I met at the art center who does not know Jesus and the United States of America. 

And I tag... 

Friday, September 16, 2016

POW/MIA Recognition Day

Hey guys! :) 

Sorry – this post is going up at a weird time. I should have written it ahead of time (like last week would've been nice), but yesterday it just didn't happen among school, a funeral, fall decorations, and When Calls the Heart (first time ever, folks, and I love it). But without further ado, let's jump right in. ^_^ 

  Do you know what today is? If you read the title of this post, you probably have a pretty good guess. 

  Up until this past spring, this day – the third Friday of September – wasn't anything special in my mind. But then I came across the story I'm about to share with you,...another story (which I'll mention and link to)...and an article in our local newspaper. 

  Today is POW/MIA recognition day, the day we fly the POW/MIA flag (I mean, someone does. I don't have personally own one. XP). The one day a year set aside to remember those prisoners of war and missing in action soldier who never came back to American soil. 

  This spring, while in a WWII-mood (when am I not?) I was reading Faith Under Fire by Stephen Rabey. And I came across a story about a man named Newt Heisley. Mr. Heisley, a WWII vet, designed the POW/MIA flag in the early ‘70s. 

  In 1971, while the Vietnam War was still being fought, Mary Helen Hoff, the wife of a service member missing in action and member of the National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia, recognized the need for a symbol of U.S. POW/MIAs, some of whom had been held captivity for as many as seven years. The flag is black, and bears in the center, in black and white, the emblem of the league. The emblem was designed by Newt Heisley, and features a white disk bearing in black silhouette the bust of a man (Jeffery Heisley, Newt Heisley’s son, a returning Vietnam veteran), watch tower with a guard on patrol, and a strand of barbed wire; above the disk are the white letters POW and MIA framing a white 5-pointed star; below the disk is a black and white wreath above the white motto: "You are not Forgotten." The POW/MIA was flown over the White House for the first time in September 1982. 
>> Borrowed from Wikipedia.


  The second source I came across earlier this year, Finally Home by Deborah Raney, tells the story of a returning, injured Vietnam veteran. It was in this that I first learned about the bracelets. (Seriously, those elementary/middle grade history books overlooked so much.) 

  These metal bracelets worn by anyone who so wished too, starting during the Vietnam war. A name was engraved into it, a name of a soldier who was missing or prisoner of war. The person wearing the bracelet was not to take it off their wrist until the soldier, most likely a complete stranger to them, was found. The metal band served as a visual reminder of those left behind. Some people wore those bracelets for over twenty years. 

  There was an article in our local newspaper a few months back about Vietnam vets. Did you know there are still many men who fought in the Vietnam war and aren't accounted for even now? Their families don't know for certain if they are dead, POW, or MIA. That is so sad! They fought for our country. They deserve better. They deserve to be remembered and honored. 


Remember our POWs and MIA soldiers today and always. Both those who eventually came home and those who didn't. Pray for them and their families. 

In Christ, 

P.S. The seventh Imagine This challenge was scheduled to end today, but I have decided to leave it open through the weekend. :) So if you would still like to enter you have through Monday night! 

**All photos borrowed from Pinterest. 
**This is a ‘double post’ which is going up here and at Stories by Firefly

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A Simple Word ~ A Poem by Amy Lane

Hello everyone! Today I'm pleased to share with you all a beautiful, thought-provoking poem by the talented Amy Lane. :) 

A Simple Word
A simple word that can change a life, 
A simple word that creates strife. 
A simple word that is simple not, 
A simple word in which countries can get caught. 
A simple word of pursuit or retreat, 
A simple word able of victory--or defeat. 
A simple word that causes people to die, 
A simple word that separates without "goodbye". 
A simple word, never simple itself, 
A simple word that lays around, until taken off a shelf, 
Applied to relationships, 
And loudly rips 
Into provocative pieces, small and large; 
Every hardship, struggle, grievance, and charge. 
A simple word that has torn, 
Many a family--with untouched reasons to mourn. 
A simple word, yet, that has united, 
Friends and family--as they fighted 
The enemy, foe, and traitor, 
Asking questions, only later. 
A word of division, 
But for some--a word also of provision. 
But it's not all earned in ways proved "nice", 
For the causes and opinions fought for, are surely at a price. 
A price of tears, 
A price of sorrow, 
The price of waking up to your worst fears, 
Of laying aside your hopes and dreams for tomorrow. 
No matter who is fighting, or has been fought,  
Every one of those men and women see 
The clear price of what has to be bought 
For their future, and what they believe goodness to be. 
A simple word of aggretion, 
A simple word of depression. 
A simple word of sacrifical consequence, 
A simple word, of neccesary allegiance. 
A simple word, cuasing tradgedy, and also guilt, 
But a simple word on which countries are built. 
                            A simple, three letter word... 

Written by Amy Lane

This poem has been shared with permission from the author.

Isn't it lovely? Leave a comment and tell Amy so! :D

In Christ, 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sisters in Christ ~ Kaitlyn Krispense ~ September 2016

Hello! And welcome to the sixth edition of Sisters in Christ!!! :D Whew, six months into this and it's such a joy for me to see everyone sharing about themselves. We're getting to know each other on a deeper level, girls! :) 

Kaitlyn Krispense from Twin Thoughts is with us today. :) She is the super-talented young lady who made the gorgeous post graphic above that you were just gushing over... (You know you were. XD) 

Alright, Kaitlyn, take the floor and introduce yourself. :) 
I’m a homeschooled twin that loves God, reading, writing, crocheting, playing instruments & singing, blogging, and recently discovered how fun graphic design is. :)  I live on a farm in Kansas with my parents and 4 of my 5 siblings.

You mentioned blogging, let's talk about that. What inspired you to start a blog? 
I saw others’ blogs, and all the tags and such they did, and it looked really fun.  So I got one last month. :D

Isn't blogging such fun?! Did you read other blogs before starting your own, or was starting a blog what thrust you into this amazing world we call The Blogosphere? ;) 
Go back to question/answer 2. ;)

How did you find my blog(s)? 
I think it was through Andi’s Blog. 

Let's move on to talk about our faith in Christ, the faith that makes us sisters through Him. :)  What's your favorite Bible verse, chapter, and book? Why? 
That’s an impossible question!   I really like Joshua 1:9 & Isaiah 41:10.  Chapter? No idea. ;P  Favorite book?  Romans, Judges, John, etc.  I’m not picky. ;)

What Bible verse(s) have really helped you through some rough times? 
Hmm... “rough times” for me would be worry, insecurity, etc.  So... Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10. :)

What is one event in your life that really strengthened your Christian walk? 
Just one?? How ‘bout several? B-)
I’d say a worldview class that I was a part of, plus a couple of Bible studies.  

Oh, yes, Bible studies are always good. :) Any Bible reading tips? 
Pray.  In a Bible study I’m currently in about the armor of God, Priscilla Shirer (Who actually starred in the movie War Room) states that prayer is the seventh piece of armor; you can’t live without it.  Without prayer, the armor can’t be activated.  So, whatever you read in your Bible, ask God to open your eyes to what He wants you to read.

Well said, Kaitlyn. 

Speaking of reading the Bible, let's talk about reading in general. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the most), how much of a reader would you consider yourself?  What about a writer? 
Reader: 10.  Writer: Eh... maybe 6 or 7?

Where's your favorite place to read and/or write? 
I’m not picky.  For reading, wherever the comfy chairs are. ;) 
For writing, wherever; my bedroom, the schoolroom, dining room, family room, patio, etc.

What's your favorite author(s)? Favorite books by them? 
I’m glad you made that plural. ;)
-Susan K. Marlow: The Circle C Adventures, Goldtown Adventures, and Circle C Milestones.
-Douglas Bond: Crown & Covenant Trilogy, Faith & Freedom Trilogy
-Nancy Rue: The Salem Years, the Williamsburg Years, The Charlestown Years, The Chicago Years, and the Santa Fe Years. All of these are a series of series.
-Jesseca Wheaton: The Silent Blade, and another book which I will not say right now because... well, because. It might be because this book hasn’t been published yet.  Dark Storm Rising is on my TBR list.

Ooo, some great choices in there. What are some books that really impacted your young life? 
Hmm... that’s a hard one.  The Bible. B-)
Too easy?  Well... sorry.  That’s my answer.

And, lastly, a few random questions before we depart... If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be? 
Well, I’d have to go with what Lauren said, too. Dorky. ;P

Any pet peeves? 
Yes.  Loud/Added noise; I have sensitive ears, so if there’s already noise going, I try to tune it out, as long as it isn’t too loud.  But when someone else starts making more noise... *shudders* I can’t stand it.

Favorite songs?
Hmm... I like a lot of songs.  And styles. Especially bluegrass. ;)
But, specifically, I’d say:
One Step Away by Casting Crowns, Impossible by Building 429, Almost any song by 3rd Day, I’ll Fly Away, Be Still My Soul, Amazing Grace, Because He Lives, and pretty much any Christmas song. :)

Anything else to add? Goals for this year? 
Goals?  Get closer to God, read more books, and write more. :)

Lovely! Thanks for coming over Kaitlyn! :) 


I hope you enjoyed our chat as much as we did! Be sure to leave a comment (or two!) for Kaitlyn and tune in next month for a chat with Blessing Counter from Counting Your Blessings One By One!! :D 

In Christ,